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Letter Of Intent Agreed To For Statewide Healthcare Network

Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare/Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services, Catholic Health Initiatives and its Kentucky-based operation, Saint Joseph Health System, University of Louisville Hospital/James Graham Brown Cancer Center and the University of Louisville have agreed to sign a Letter of Intent to merge into a statewide health services organization to improve the quality of care for the people of Kentucky.

The LOI follows nearly eight months of discussions and represents the next step toward the eventual creation of the network.

“Since our June announcement acknowledging our discussions, we have explored how we can transform health care delivery within the Commonwealth,” said LouAnn Atlas, Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare Board Chair. “It has become clear to us that we must apply our best thinking, share leading practices and pool our resources to reshape the delivery of health care in Kentucky. Our intent is to partner with physicians and integrate our services to provide patients with the full continuum of care,” said Gerald Temes, MD, Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services Board Chair.

When finalized, the new entity will:

  • Have statewide geographic reach
  • Include a capital investment by Catholic Health Initiatives exceeding $300 million throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky
  • Expand the Academic Medical Center in Louisville to include the University of Louisville Hospital, James Graham Brown Cancer Center, Jewish Hospital and Frazier Rehab Institute
  •  Extend the research and teaching programs of the University of Louisville statewide
  • Be governed by a community board of trustees representing the Commonwealth that will have fiduciary responsibilities

“Through the creation of this integrated, comprehensive network, there will not be a health care need we cannot meet,” said Gene Woods, CEO of Saint Joseph Health System. “Each of our organizations has unique areas of expertise and we will bring that high level of care to more than 2 million patients annually at more than 90 locations throughout the state, ranging from critical access hospitals to major tertiary facilities capable of transplant procedures.”

As part of a new model of health care, the organizations are developing plans to address:

  • Changes brought by health care reform
  • Medically underserved communities
  • Health challenges faced by Kentuckians, including cancer, cardiovascular problems, obesity and stroke
  • Innovative uses of medical research and technology, such as telemedicine
  • Training of medical professionals and a physician shortage

Combined, the organizations will include more than 3,000 physicians throughout the state to provide care for all Kentuckians, and others throughout the region and nation. The three organizations have combined revenues of more than $2 billion.

“Our vision is to use our ingenuity and collective resources to re-form how we deliver health care in Kentucky. We see this network as the means to implement a new model of care to improve the health of citizens and communities across the Commonwealth,” said Kevin E. Lofton, president and CEO, Catholic Health Initiatives.

Extending care throughout the state is a significant principle behind the groups’ efforts. The federal government estimates that the state will be short 3,000 physicians by 2020. Growing the educational and training opportunities for new physicians also will be part of the discussions.

“If we truly are going to meet our mandate of improving the general welfare and economic well-being of the people of Kentucky, we must help meet their health care needs. We must have more physicians, especially in rural and underserved areas within the state,” said James R. Ramsey, president of the University of Louisville. “This means we have to make it attractive for people to set up medical practices in communities that have not had services. Additionally, we want to attract people into the medical field from these communities who are interested in providing better health care services to their families, friends and neighbors.”

Since beginning talks in March 2010, the organizations have explored many subjects including equity, governance, the role of academic medicine in a new entity, similarities of purpose among the parties, and more. While no definitive decisions have been made at this point, leaders of all four organizations believe there is enough commonality to continue discussions and will work toward a definitive agreement. Although no specific deadline has been determined, this stage can take approximately 12 months.

Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare (JHSMH) is a regional health network that includes more than 70 health care facilities and more than 1,400 patient beds in Kentucky and southern Indiana. JHSMH provides a complete array of health care services including hospitals, outpatient care, occupational health, psychiatric care and rehab medicine. JHSMH also provides innovative home health care and specialty programs promoting the highest quality of life to families in Kentucky and southern Indiana and has been nationally ranked in the top 25 percent of Medicare-certified agency providers. JHSMH has nearly 7,500 team members and employs a network of physician practices that provide both primary and specialty medical care.

UofL Health Care is the region’s leading academic medical center - a comprehensive medical treatment, research and services organization. It combines the extraordinary resources of University Hospital, the James Graham Brown Cancer Center and University of Louisville Physicians. All UofL Health Care services are associated with the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center.

Saint Joseph Health System includes Flaget Memorial Hospital, Bardstown; Saint Joseph – London; Saint Joseph - Martin; Saint Joseph Hospital and Saint Joseph East, Lexington; Saint Joseph - Berea; Saint Joseph - Jessamine and Saint Joseph - Mount Sterling. The system has 1012 licensed beds, approximately 5,000 employees and approximately 1,300 physicians on its medical staffs. Combined, the member facilities have received the following honors:

  • Recognized 18 times as being among the 100 Top Hospitals in the nation by Thomson Reuters
  • Winner of the Joint Commission’s Codman Award for quality improvements
  • Named one of Kentucky’s Best Places to Work four years running
  • Awarded the highest honor by the Kentucky Center for Performance Excellence

Catholic Health Initiatives is a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Denver. The faith-based system operates in 19 states and includes 73 hospitals; 40 long-term care, assisted- and residential-living facilities; two community health-services organizations; and home health agencies. In fiscal year 2010, CHI provided almost $590 million in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research. With annual revenues of approximately $9 billion, CHI is the nation's third-largest Catholic health care system.

The University of Louisville is Kentucky's premier metropolitan research university. Boasting more than 170 fields of study in 12 colleges and schools, UofL offers its 22,000 students world-class opportunities in many nationally and internationally ranked undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. Through its service mission, the university is addressing the needs of Louisville and other Kentucky metropolitan areas with hundreds of partnerships in education, business and economic development, and healthcare. One of America's fastest-growing research universities, UofL is focusing on translational research that can move quickly from the lab to the marketplace.


Since our June announcement acknowledging our discussions, we have explored how we can transform health care delivery within the Commonwealth.

- LouAnn Atlas, Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare Board Chair

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